Innova Safari or Aire Lynx II

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snowshoe

Innova Safari or Aire Lynx II

Post by snowshoe »

Hi everyone! Looking on some advice for which kayak to purchase. I've been an inflatable kayaker for about a year now. Looking to upgrade from my cheap starter kayak to something a little better for some week long tours. Mostly I'm in the ocean with some lakes, and possibly some mellow rivers in the future but no whitewater. I've spent the last few months watching out for used inflatables in my area and currently have two options. Any help on the decision would be great!

Innova Safari: I've been leaning towards this one because my friend has one and I've seen what kind of amazing adventures it can handle. I love that it packs up nicely into a backpack for bus or plane trips. Downside is the used one available has had leaks in the past and has been patched. The owner promises me the patches were done in a very careful way but still makes me nervous.

Aire Lynx II: Benefits of this one is I can bring a friend for day trips plus tons of space for gear on solo trips. Downside is it's designed specifically as a river kayak. I've seen skeg kits for it online and I assume that would help a bunch with tracking but I'm still not sure how it would perform in the ocean.

So any advice is helpful! Anyone with experience with patches, skeg kits, or Aire Lynx on open water?

Thanks!

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tsunamichuck
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Location: Anchorage Alaska

Re: Innova Safari or Aire Lynx II

Post by tsunamichuck »

Neither,
I have a Safari. The patches are nothing to worry about as long as it is not leaking air. It is limited in carrying capacity and speed. A whitewater boat will be hard to control.
Try searching on www.theboatpeople.com
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

snowshoe

Re: Innova Safari or Aire Lynx II

Post by snowshoe »

Hi Chuck thanks for the feedback! Are you saying that you do not recommend a Safari? My friend has one and taken it to some really amazing places. He's loaded it up beyond the recommended capacity without problems. Thanks for your note on patches, that gives some piece of mind.

I've been on theboatpeople.com and read a lot of their descriptions. I think one important deciding factor will be my limited budget and what is available used. I've been checking for months and inflatables rarely come up in my area.

I just got off the phone with Aire and the sales rep I spoke to said that an whitewater specific kayak such as the Lynx II will move slower in open water than a touring specific kayak such as the Aire Sawtooth. He said the reason it moves slower is mostly to do with the extra width which gives stability for whitewater. I wonder if the extra width would start to bother me during long days of paddling. Also Aire kayaks take significantly longer to dry because of a double-wall construction. For right now I'd have to say I'm definitely leaning towards the Safari, but still open to ideas or opinions

onsafari
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Re: Innova Safari or Aire Lynx II

Post by onsafari »

hi snowshoe. I think what tsunamichuck is getting at is that, if you want specifically a touring boat, then the Safari wouldn't necessarily be your first choice. It's a bit of a unique jack-of-all trades boat that can handle most things that are thrown at it but truly excels in no one particular area. It's competent as a tourer with the skeg fitted but it's noticeably slower than the longer Innova boats like the Sunny. Boats like the Sunny will also give you more storage space and you won't have to tape up any bail holes like you do in the Safari if you exceed a 90-95kg payload and want to stop water coming in. On saying that, Safaris have been used for some pretty epic journeys so if it's the only one that's available then go for it. (The Lynx looks like it would be a bit of a pain to paddle on flat water at 37" wide).

If the patches are done well then they're nothing to worry about. You can always redo them if you're concerned - you can buy Gumotex/Innova repair kits for not very much which include nitrilon patches in them (or Tim from Innova might even send you some) and if you use something like Bostik 2-part instead of the supplied adhesive and do a careful job then you'll get an excellent bond.
Barum Albatros
Gumotex Safari
Gumotex Sunny
Gumotex Scout

snowshoe

Re: Innova Safari or Aire Lynx II

Post by snowshoe »

Awesome! I'm getting the safari! Thanks for the great advice! I'll post some trip reports once I get on the water a bit!

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tsunamichuck
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1248
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Location: Anchorage Alaska

Re: Innova Safari or Aire Lynx II

Post by tsunamichuck »

snowshoe wrote:Hi Chuck thanks for the feedback! Are you saying that you do not recommend a Safari? My friend has one and taken it to some really amazing places. He's loaded it up beyond the recommended capacity without problems. Thanks for your note on patches, that gives some piece of mind.

I've been on theboatpeople.com and read a lot of their descriptions. I think one important deciding factor will be my limited budget and what is available used. I've been checking for months and inflatables rarely come up in my area.

I just got off the phone with Aire and the sales rep I spoke to said that an whitewater specific kayak such as the Lynx II will move slower in open water than a touring specific kayak such as the Aire Sawtooth. He said the reason it moves slower is mostly to do with the extra width which gives stability for whitewater. I wonder if the extra width would start to bother me during long days of paddling. Also Aire kayaks take significantly longer to dry because of a double-wall construction. For right now I'd have to say I'm definitely leaning towards the Safari, but still open to ideas or opinions
OnSafari summed it up. There are better choices for long open water paddles. I have surfed mine and paddled some class 3 with mine. It is a fun little kayak.
Try some moving water with yours
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

Jake
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 460
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Location: Coastal New Jersey

Re: Innova Safari or Aire Lynx II

Post by Jake »

I haven't had the chance to paddle the Safari but anything I've read about it has been positive. I take a Feathercraft Kurrent with me to Florida in winter and, because the condo that we've been renting has a garage, I can keep it assembled for most of three months that we're here with just a partial take down for joint lubrication. If I didn't have a place for secure storage and had to assemble/disassemble the boat each time I wanted to go paddling, I don't think I'd be doing much paddling. Though even a well designed inflatable, with the exception of Feathercraft's Aironaut, probably won't paddle as efficiently as a folder, you can have the duckie out of its bag, in the water and around the first bend in the river while you're still swearing at the not-yet-assembled folder. That's assuming, of course, that swearing at kayaks is a part of your language spectrum :)

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